DNR: Washburn County - Smith Bridge Fire Burns 191 Acres

DNR Asks Public To Avoid All Outdoor Burning.

DNR: Washburn County - Smith Bridge Fire Burns 191 Acres

As dry, windy and warm conditions persist, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) asks the public to avoid all outdoor burning due to elevated fire danger across the state.

The forecast for today, April 14, suggests another active wildfire day, with fire danger anticipated to reach High to Very High across most of Wisconsin. Burn permits will be suspended in 41 counties.

Yesterday, April 13, 37 fires burned over 300 acres – the single most active wildfire day thus far this year. Several fires had potential for large fire growth in the northwest part of the state. The DNR moved resources, including an incident management team, around the state to respond to these wildfires.

On windy, dry days, embers from any fire, especially burn piles and campfires, can easily get out of control and cause a wildfire if not properly extinguished. Please avoid all burning until conditions improve.

DNR burn permit restrictions and fire danger vary from county to county. However, the DNR will suspend annual burn permits in these critical areas where the DNR has burn restriction authority.

Outdoor recreators should also be extra careful with off-road vehicles or other equipment that can create sparks and start a fire. As weather conditions change, fires can quickly get out of control.


  • Avoid outdoor burning until conditions improve.
  • Operate equipment (chainsaws, off-road vehicles, lawnmowers, etc.) early in the morning or late in the day to avoid sparks at peak burn hours.
  • Secure dragging trailer chains.
  • Report fires early and call 911.

Check current fire danger, wildfire reports and burning restrictions on the DNR website.

Updates On Significant Fires Across The State


The DNR responded to a wildfire with significant growth potential near the Town of Minong at approximately 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. The fire, now contained, burned an estimated 191 acres. It is located west of Hwy 53 (south of East Flowage Road, east of Smith Bridge Road, near Gilmore Lake).

As of the most recent preliminary assessment, two primary trailer homes and five secondary structures (mostly sheds) were destroyed. Ten primary structures and 23 secondary structures were saved. Residents in the area can return to their homes. However, the general public is being asked to remain out of the fire area to allow fire personnel to continue with ongoing mop up operations.

The fire burned in the crowns of the trees and in slash on the ground and moved in a northeasterly direction. Several spot fires occurred but were subsequently suppressed.

The DNR had over 10 engines, 8 tractor plows, 1 heavy dozer, 2 patrol planes and 2 Minnesota aircraft with water scooping capability, working the fire. Twelve local fire departments, law enforcement officials and emergency management also assisted.

As mop-up efforts continue, the DNR released control of the Smith Bridge Complex to the local district as of 9 a.m. this morning.

The fire remains under investigation.


The DNR responded to a wildfire with large growth potential at approximately 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, in the Town of Wascott. The fire is now contained.

This fire started just south of Apple Lake (west of Hwy 53, south of Lost Lake Road, east of South Apple Lake Road) and burned in pine plantation. Burning approximately 21 acres, the fire moved in a northeasterly direction.

DNR resources will patrol and monitor the fire area throughout the day.

The fire remains under investigation.

Please note: Acres burned are subject to change as assessments continue.

Last Update: Apr 15, 2024 10:08 am CDT

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